HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back and Forth on Stem-Cell Research Energizes Race

The New York Times reports on the clashing views over stem-cell research in the presidential campaign.  Larry Rohter writes,

BidenFirst abortion, now embryonic stem-cell research. An issue that energizes social conservatives has once again been thrust into the presidential campaign, after Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee for vice president, attacked Republicans on Tuesday for rejecting President Bush’s limited support for using human embryonic cell lines to develop medical therapies.

“I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents” who face “the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,” Mr. Biden said at a campaign stop in Columbia, Mo. “Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem-cell research?”

The Republican Party platform, just adopted in St. Paul, opposes any form of human embryonic stem-cell research. The McCain campaign, however, immediately cried foul, accusing Mr. Biden of “offensive” behavior and implying that the attack was directed at Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, who in April gave birth to a son with Down syndrome and has promised parents of children with disabilities that she will be “a friend and advocate in the White House” if elected.

Barack Obama’s running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special-needs children,” said Ben Porritt, a spokesman for Senator John McCain’s campaign. “Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign.”

The Obama campaign lost no time in responding. “John McCain has adopted and promises to implement a Republican platform that takes an even more extreme position in opposing stem-cell research than that of George Bush four years ago," said Hari Sevugan, a spokesman for the Obama campaign. “While the McCain campaign may not believe the American people deserve a debate on the issues, it’s simply insulting for them to suggest that raising a substantive difference on this critical issue is playing politics.”

Until last week’s convention, Mr. McCain’s personal position on stem-cell research had in fact sharply diverged from that of his party’s platform, which advocates “a ban on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes” and a “ban on all embryonic stem-cell research, public or private.” In a debate last year, Mr. McCain said he supported federal financing for stem-cell research. He also voted last year with the majority of his Senate colleagues for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which Mr. Bush later vetoed, and in 2004 he joined 57 senators who signed a letter to the president, urging him to “modify the current embryonic stem cell policy.”

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2008/09/back-and-forth.html

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341bfae553ef0105349ea360970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Back and Forth on Stem-Cell Research Energizes Race :

Comments

Post a comment